The Club was formed on 1st September 1995 by a group of local enthusiasts in the West Sussex village of Handcross led by residents Glyn Alexander and Patrick De Ruyter, both of whom have strong ties with France - particularly Patrick, who is French!
Initially there was no venue within the vicinity of the Village on which to play pétanque so Patrick adapted his sand school as a temporary piste, and with a venue to play on the club was officially formed.
In February 1996 the Club was highly honoured when the Right Hon the Earl of Snowdon, GCVO, who has close family connections with Handcross and the nearby village of Staplefield, agreed to become its Patron. Understandably the Club is exceedingly proud to have Lord Snowdon's support.
Following its formation, the Club became actively involved in many fund-raising activities towards the provision of a purpose-built piste in the village. The Club received considerable support in its efforts from the village as a whole, and both the Parish and Mid Sussex District Councils were also very supportive of its quest to build a piste in the village.
In 1997 the Parish Council agreed to provide land for the piste on Handcross Recreation Ground. The Council subsequently obtained a grant from the Mid Sussex District Council for the building of the piste, the cost of which was shared equally between the Council and the Club.
The pétanque terrain was finally built in early 1998. Nicholas Soames, MP for Mid Sussex, officially opened the piste on 17th May 1998. On 21 March 2010 Nicholas Soames again visited the piste to officially open the new clubhouse and lighting facilities.
Les Bonnes Boules de Handcross is an affiliated member of the English Pétanque Association and the Southern Counties Pétanque Association. Club members take part in competitions held by affiliated and non affiliated clubs throughout the South and South East of England. The Club also holds its own invited events at its Handcross venue, and actively supports local charities and needy organisations within its fund-raising activities.
Pétanque is the French game of boules and is becoming increasingly popular in Britain. It is a game which can be enjoyed by all ages, sexes and abilities, and is a great family sport.
The Club meets on Sundays from 10.00 a.m; and on Wednesdays during British Summer Time from 5.00 p.m. until Sundown; Wednesdays during Winter months from 10.00 a.m. Les Bonnes Boules de Handcross welcomes all new members.
Handcross is easily accessible by motorway, being located south of Gatwick on the M23/A23 (map reference TQ263303). RH17 6BJ